Thursday, May 14, 2009

Be Careful What You Don't Tell People

I feel so overwhelmingly sad right now.

I can hardly find the 'poetic' and 'cryptic' words right now (which apparently describe my writing so well) to even write about this, as my style of writing and the mere fact that I do write, were attempted to be used against me today in court.
I don't want to feel censored, but if I remain a public blog, then I am and I will be. If something I say with heartfelt meaning can be used against me in a handy little twist, then yes. I will. You would too.

But for now, I cannot allow him to take away or hurt this one thing I have left.
Our children are ours. They will always be ours.
But this blog, these words?
They are mine.
This poetic license to be cryptic and have a quirky sense of humor?
All mine.

This is my blog. This is where I can tell my truth, where I can record the awesomeness that is my children, and even record my parenting triumphs and fails.
This is where I have been able to share the 'unspeakable'; the coping with parenting loss...this blog has been what even helped to keep me sane those years of cyclical arguing.
Sometimes people even pay me astonishingly low amounts of money to write things.
I write only the truth (which, perhaps upon reflection, is why the amounts are so astonishingly low).

Today I was told by a judge, that although it is obvious that there was a battery committed against me, he (the batterer) was offered a plea bargain which allowed to plead guilty to a lesser charge of 'disturbing the peace' instead of going to trial with the original two charges of 'battery' and 'child endangerment'.
So although he admitted to battery, and admitted to child endangerment, the charge was lowered.
He still gets DV (domestic violence) terms, which means there will be some court mandated counseling and a stay-away order, a small fine.
No trial.

I guess this is standard practice for a first time offender.
I have to tell you something. If it ever happens to you? Even just a 'tiny bit'? Even if someone 'just' shakes you or threatens you and doesn't do what you consider 'physical damage'?
Report it.
Do not hesitate to report it.
That was my biggest mistake. I didn't report the first time, or the second time. There were no bruises. Just fear.


Katie said...

I've been reading your blog for more than a year now. Never posted a comment before because I didn't feel like I had anything relevant to add.

But today, I just wanted to say that I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry. Reading your blog has brought joy and tears to me. I feel like your writing has made me a better person. Thank you for sharing things that so many people are not brave enough to speak.

I have never met you, but I know that you are a good person. But, even more so than that, I know that you are a strong person.

Thank you.

flutter said...

are you doing ok with money and food and everything? Do you need anything?

Mama Deb said...


Sophie said...

This sucks. Sucks muchly.

Thinking of you all and hoping time passes quickly and cleanly from here on.

Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...

babe I have been avoiding you.

It is too close.

I am sorry.

If you need someone, I am here. Going through what you are right now.

MFA Mama said...

I'm wrestling with the idea of what is "safe" to blog "after" too. I won a free subscription to Typepad Pro and activated it, and thought I'd start blogging again after the divorce is final, but now it's like "is there ANYthing that is safe to say? Can I still write in a way that rings true and avoid legal trouble? Is it okay to have foibles if I have them in writing?"

I didn't report it the first time, or the second time either. Live and learn, right?

You're going to be fine. I really do believe that. All of us are behind you.

ashley on fire said...

I am glad you are back, and I sorry you're going through this. It's awful. I don't want to sound like a quack, but have you considered counseling at all? And if your son saw anything, perhaps he'd benefit.

I know fmor experience that domestic violence is suchhhhhhhh a mind fuck.

AND you are a strong strong strong woman, and you can do this.

"The more afraid I am of something, the more I know I have to do it."

I don't know where that's from, but it's helped me through some SERIOUSLY SCARY things, like reporting a stalker.

We care about you here. But definitely be careful what you write here. It sucks, but yea... words can be twisted. Good luck to you!

Headless Mom said...

Love you! No matter what you say.

Magpie said...

Thinking you, and your bravery.

Deb said...

Plea bargains can feel shitty to victims. I'm so sorry that the "justice" system experience can't be more just.

Thinking about you.

Miss Grace said...

Gwen, love. I'm SO FUCKING SORRY.

I wish I was a part of the mafia so I could take care of him right proper for you.


Lauri said...

I'm so sorry that you continue to suffer even after everything he put you through...please do what YOU need to do to heal yourself and your kids...keep getting up every day for them....they need you and you need them too...they will keep you strong...

Lots of love

Loralee Choate said...


I am so very sorry.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry. SO SORRY. Please don't stop writing-you are right-this is YOURS and you CAN do it.

I'm with Miss Grace-I would love to take care of him proper....

You are strong. You WILL get through this.

Young Mama Rae said...

I have never read your site before until today. I had never even heard of it, as I am new to blogging and have just started my own site, I am venturing out and reading/following more. That is how I can across yours.

That being said, you are now one of my top 5. I have been where you are. I know what you are going through. I know the feeling of being humiliated, depressed, angry, embarrassed, and shamed all at once. I know what it is like to have to work 2 jobs to pay the rent and put food on the table because he wasted family money and now blames you. All because he couldn't keep his hands to himself and you reported it and left him. I know what it is like to go to the dentist to have your missing tooth fixed, that he punched out of your face, and not want to "get into it" when the dentist asked what happened. I know what it feels like to blame yourself even though you know it wasn't your fault, not even a little bit, not even at all. I know.

When you have been through what we have been through, it helps to know that someone else knows.

I know, and I am here if you need me.

GraceD said...

Dear Gwendomama Readers -

The great blogger Squid has organized a fundraiser to help Gwendomama and her kids re-launch her life after this horrible court ruling. Please donate anything, no amount is too small, every dollar counts.

Please go here:

As a survivor of domestic violence and child sexual abuse, this means so much. I wish my own mother was as brave as Gwen.

Love and peace to all,

Debbie said...

I'm so glad you're back to posting and yet ... I'm worried about you! I had a friend whose personal diary (like hidden-in-her-underwear-drawer personal) was used against her in divorce proceedings, so I can only imagine what could be done with a blog. I don't want you to lose the outlet and the support, but I sure don't want His-Clearly-Craziness to WIN.

You know what is best, and if you're blogging, I'm sure reading and sending love and support (though I'm a lurker you don't know from Eve!). Hang in there. Surely your story will help someone else handle their own situation in the future.

Steve said...


I know you may delete this for your own protection and I would and will understand completely but I'm mad as hell.

Why was he offered a plea bargain in the first place? What kind of man is this (and I use this term very loosely)?

What kind of man lies about the rent and utility payments he never made to house his children?

What kind of man beats and chokes his wife and in front of his child, empties the bank account for bail not thinking of his kids who need a roof, food, and utilities of a home?

And runs.

What kind of man hides behind a couple of lawyers and points fingers to get a reduced charge?

What kind of man would even attempt to pin the blame of the crimes he committed on the victim?

What kind of man would even have let this happen at all to those he professes to love?

COWARD, LIAR, PHONY, HYPOCRITE, LOSER, CHICKEN SHIT LITTLE FUCK are words that come to mind. He certainly is no man. He certainly has no honor or integrity or any sense of responsibility.

I have oh so much more but that pretty much covers it in a nut shell.

I will be keeping you and your kids in my thoughts. Its gonna get better because you have people that love you and you can stand tall.

Lunasea said...

I'm sorry he was allowed to plea bargain to a disturbing the peace. What a bullshit charge. He deserves worse, and you deserve far better.

The only thing I hope, though, is that this will end this part of it and that whatever happens, you'll be in a better place than where you were.

Mindy said...

I didn't report it... I just asked him to move out that weekend. I'd been supporting him 14 months after filing for divorce because I would not have my children see me throw their father out before he had a job and a house and left on his own.

That same week, I sat in a sling in my office while my boss outlined my exit path, because clearly I didn't have my head in the game. My lumpectomy was later that summer.

How can people possibly understand - how can they imagine what it's like to be on the other end - facing the person you trusted your life with, for whom you would have once done anything? And how can they remember it as "not that bad?"

Lynn (oddthomas) said...

I was directed to your blog from GraceD. I am just now starting to read your story. I too am a survivor of abuse... a raging, violent alcoholic father. I won't go into anything else. This is to just let you know, here I stand, one more person who is sending you strength, compassion, understanding and love. I am finding how true it is that there is strength in numbers, and that with the support of each other, we can find our voice as well.
For me, I am grateful that we are now in a time where this kind of thing CAN be reported. When it was happening in my family- it wasn't something that was talked about or acknowledged.

Erika said...

I'm so sorry. Thank you for taking this stand. If more women reported, things would change. Thank you for being so brave.

Liz said...

You are brilliant... strong... a great parent, and a great writer.

You have a community behind you 100%.



Debbie said...

I have cared about you since the day I met you at Grace's house and you told me about Elijah. I care about you today.

I'll send money. If there's anything else I can do, I hope you'll let me know.

MB said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. I hope you will report him the second he violates the terms of his probation, which I'm sure he will.

tangobaby said...

Dear Gwen,

I came here via Liz and I first want to echo the others here in that people DO care and there are people out there to help you.

I'm so sorry to read about your difficulties and how you've been so callously treated by people that should have known better. My hope is that you and your children will heal and recover soon with the love and support of the real people who care.

I will continue to check in on your story and offer my support as well.

RuthWells said...

You are an inspiration, Gwen. Stay strong. We're with you.

Lisa Jo Rudy said...

Blogging is like therapy - a small thing that gives you real power... the power of small. You have real friends here, too: something to hang onto.


Glennia said...

Just sending you love and strength across the blogosphere...

Jennifer said...

I am so very, very sorry, for everything you've been through. You deserve better.

Shana said...

YOU know you protected yourself and your children. WE know you protected yourself and your children. You are loved and not alone.

Jess said...

I'm sorry that you have felt the need to censor your thoughts. Your words. You.

And I am sorry that justice wasn't served. And I am sorry that you had to undergo such trauma. I'm sorry that in the end, it didn't feel like enough.

I have missed you. I have worried about you. And I have been saddened by your need to privatize your blog.

I hope that you don't allow yourself to be trampled on further. I hope that you don't allow that fear to silence you, though, it is very understandable.

I hope, that I can read the gwendomama that I love so very very much.

I wish you peace and calm, and some respite from the storm.


Azul said...

I'm so, so sorry. You and your children deserve better than this.

Glad to see you're public again, but we'll all understand if you have to change that again.

I wish you all the best.

Which Box said...

Oh my dear, I am so sorry for all of it. Was thinknig of you on the 11th. What a shitty, shitty day. I am sorry.

Hang in there. I am glad you are back public, as I am feeling slightly stalker-ish. I will be a part of the bloglove later on today. But i want you to know you continue to touch a lot of people who have, until recently, just quietly read along. Passivity is past, though, so I am now trying (in a non-stalkerish way) to worm my way in a bit more.

Denise said...

I lost a lot of readers when i came out. Not alot of people understood me or where i was coming from. They think i destroyed my family because of my own selfishness. That is mainly why i went private. Although my ex never physically abused me, he mentally and emotionally abused me. Not to mention scaring the shit out of me and stalking me. SO I understand completely. Even now he sometimes freaks me out with some of the stuff he says. keep your chin up and your head held high. Love you.

Shinejil said...

I'm sorry you had to go through all of it, everything, especially the bs accusations that you did something to bring this on. I wish justice had been better served with a more appropriate penalty for all the threats and harm.

Disturbing the peace, my butt.

Lorza said...

I just want to send you love and support. I am child of domestic abuse- and I am so proud of my mother for how she handled it...but you are right- there is never just a "just". It always leads to bigger things...then the big thing gets the law's attention- but to them it is a little thing b/c it is THE FIRST TIME(WHATEVER!!!) I almost lost my mother one night..the first night the cops were called- my senior year. I called them b/c my mother was not concious. They let my father stay in the house and WE had to sleep in the car. B/C it was 'the first offense' and he mea culpa'd until they let himn stay in the house.

I am sorry for what you are going through- I am glad you are staying strong though. I am glad you are blessed with a great community for support.


Becky aka MsBatman said...

I just found your blog and I am reading through some of your archives. I've walked that mile you've walked. The journey is hard, and soul sucking, but the destination is worth it all.

Now, about your blog. Unfortunately they can use your blog against you. They will print pages and quote only the sentence that will appear to cause the most damage, The good news is you wrote it so you can put it back into context.
On my blog, I called my ex husband's lawyer a cunt. When she asked me "Did you do that?" I answered, uh yeah it's right there in front of you.
"Why did you do that?"
Because that's exactly what I think of you and freedom of speech says I can voice my opinion.

Shut her up. My Blog lost all it's power to them at that point.